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Posts from ‘June, 2007’

Coaching Tip: Reputation is a big reason Exxon Mobil trades at a much higher price-earnings ratio than Royal Dutch Shell

Headline: The Power of Perception

Consumers are flooded by corporate marketing campaigns linking to social issues. 

Indeed, the public now expects just about every company to be allied with a cause, according to Carol Cone, whose brand-strategy firm recently conducted a survey on cause-related marketing.  The best corporate reputation belongs to Microsoft Corporation, according to one of the oldest and most respected indexes from Delahaye.  It’s top spot is cemented by its well-publicized philanthropy.

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Bloomberg: Gazprom May Develop Sakhalin-3 Oil, Gas Project With Rosneft

By Greg Walters

June 29 (Bloomberg) — OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, may form a joint venture with the oil company OAO Rosneft to develop the Sakhalin-3 offshore oil and gas project, Gazprom Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said.

Gazprom and state-controlled Rosneft agreed in late 2005 to bid jointly for oil and gas fields at home and abroad. Both companies are already active in hydrocarbon projects off Russia’s Sakhalin Island, north of Japan.

“Everything is going forward,” Medvedev said on the sidelines of Gazprom’s shareholders’ meeting today in Moscow, where the company is based. “There will be joint ventures. We’re thinking about Sakhalin-3 and other projects, including offshore projects.”

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ThisDayOnline: Malabu Files Objection to Shell’s Suit

By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku, 06.30.2007

Malabu Oil and Gas, a company owned by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Dan Etete yesterday disclosed that it had filed a preliminary objection to a suit brought by Royal Dutch Shell against the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL245) re-allocated to it by the Federal Government. It said it would resist moves by Shell to “continue to act as clog in its (Malabu) efforts to develop and realise the full potential of the oil block.’’

Shell had gone before an Abuja Federal High Court  to challenge the decision of the Federal Government to re-allocate the oil block to Malabu.

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Bloomberg: Gazprom Doesn’t Plan to Buy Stake in Exxon Mobil’s Sakhalin-1

By Joe Carroll and Greg Walters

June 29 (Bloomberg) — OAO Gazprom, the Russian energy company that seized control of $8.5 billion in projects from Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, doesn’t expect to buy a stake in Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Sakhalin-1 oil and gas development.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev told shareholders at a meeting in Moscow that plans for Gazprom to buy the natural gas output of the project won’t entail taking an ownership stake in the $17 billion venture. Gazprom said on June 26 that it wants to buy all the gas produced at the offshore Sakhalin-1 project to uphold the Moscow-based company’s monopoly on Russian gas exports.

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Daily News (Canada): Shell proposed refinery to undergo EA

Saturday, June 30, 2007
 
Shell Canada will proceed with an environmental assessment of its proposed new refinery near Sarnia, Environment Minister Laurel Broten has announced.

The Minister has approved the company’s terms of reference, which is a work plan for an environmental assessment. It outlines the steps and studies Shell will undertake to identify environmental and cumulative effects and describes the methods that will be used for assessing the effects.

“The terms of reference is just the first step in the environmental assessment process, which Shell has volunteered to undertake,” Broten said. “An EA will inform us if the refinery can be designed and constructed in a manner that respects the environment.”

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N.J. SUES FOR DAMAGES TO NATURAL RESOURCES CAUSED BY POLLUTION

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)

June 29, 2007

STATE FILES LAWSUITS SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGES POLLUTERS CAUSED TO NATURAL RESOURCES

TRENTON – The state has filed approximately 120 lawsuits that could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from polluters who have harmed New Jersey’s natural resources, including numerous manufacturers and marketers of the gasoline additive MTBE, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced today.

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Africa Path: Nigeria: US Marines, AFRICOM & the Niger Delta

June 29, 2007 04:10 PM
 
Recently the National Geographic magazine published a feature piece on the Niger Delta “Curse of the Black Gold: Hope and Betrayal in the Niger Delta“. For those familiar with the issues of the Niger Delta there was really nothing that has not been reported by human rights environmental activists and Human Rights Watch over the past 15 years. What is new and cause for concern is the article “Nigeria and the United States: Convergent Interests” published by the Center for International Policy. A few months back I was contacted via my blog by a US contractor called Carol Chapital asking if I was willing to assist on a project in Nigeria. 

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The Bakersfield California: State still waiting for Shell to act

The Bakersfield Californian graphic

Water table below Bakersfield refinery remains contaminated
BY STACEY SHEPARD, Californian staff writer
e-mail:
[email protected] | Friday, Jun 29 2007 11:15 PM
Last Updated: Friday, Jun 29 2007 11:18 PM

Shell Oil shut down a soil cleanup operation at the Rosedale Highway refinery two years ago and hasn’t restarted it despite repeated requests from the state, according to documents obtained from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Shell said the shutdown was temporary while it searched for a new power source to run the system after selling the facility to Big West of California, a subsidiary of Flying J, in March 2005.

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Petroleum News: Commissioner to make final consistency decision for Shell’s Beaufort drilling

NSB issues challenge
By Alan Bailey
Vol. 12, No. 26  Week of July 01, 2007

The clock continues to tick toward Shell’s planned start for its summer 2007 drilling program at its Beaufort Sea Sivulliq prospect, which is on the western side of Camden Bay off Alaska’s North Slope.

But on June 25, in a new twist in the regulatory process, the North Slope Borough asked the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to formally review a June 19 proposed finding by DNR’s Permitting Office of Project Management and Permitting, which had deemed Shell’s program consistent with the Alaska Coastal Management Plan.

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Philippine Daily Inquirer: Pilipinas Shell to open 50 new stations nationwide

Published: Jun 30, 2007

AS COMPETITION FURTHER stiffens, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. is planning to add another 50 stations to its nationwide network and give existing ones a facelift.

The oil firm hopes to increase its 33-percent share of the retail market.

Sammy de Guzman, Shells vice president for retail, said the oil firm would seesaw from the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the retail market, giving up the top slot one month and regaining it the next.

This cycle, he said, has been going on for a long time, and Shell now wants to further strengthen its position in the market.

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Financial Times: Carbon capture proving commercially unviable

By Ed Crooks
Published: June 30 2007 03:00 | Last updated: June 30 2007 03:00

Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil, Norway’s nationaloil company, have dropped ambitious plans for a demonstration project to capture carbon dioxide emitted by a power station and inject it under thesea, saying it was technically feasible but not commercially viable.

The Statoil-led project would have taken carbon dioxide from a gas-fired power station in Norwayand injected it into an oilfield for enhanced oil recovery.

Statoil said the extra oil that could be recovered was “too low to justify the necessary investments in the field.”

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Financial Times: Footsie recovers but caution reigns for property groups

By Neil Hume and Robert Orr
Published: June 30 2007 03:00 | Last updated: June 30 2007 03:00

EXTRACT

Royal Dutch Shell enjoyed further gains. Up 2.6 per cent on Thursday after Morgan Stanley said the company was undervalued by £60bn, shares in the energy group gained a further 1.1 per cent to £20.83 thanks to a rising crude price and positive comments from Credit Suisse.

Reiterating its £22 target price, the broker said there could be $25bn (£12.5bn) of disposals in the pipeline as the company continues its restructuring programme.

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The Guardian (UK): Market Forces

Nick Fletcher
Saturday June 30, 2007

Oil companies were also in focus as the crude price hovered around $71 a barrel. Royal Dutch Shell, which Morgan Stanley reckons could be undervalued to the tune of a whopping $120bn, added 29p to £20.34. Credit Suisse chipped in yesterday, raising its earnings forecast by 2% for 2008 and suggesting the company has about $25bn (£12bn)of possible disposals to come.

BP was 4p better at 603p. Days after announcing plans for a bio-ethanol plant in Hull with Du Pont and AB Foods, BP announced a biofuels joint venture with D1 Oils. The deal includes the option for BP to buy up to 16% of D1 at an average price of 251p a share. D1 added 23.75p to 264.75p. But later news that there were problems with the CATS gas import pipeline operated by BP took some of the shine off the oil company’s shares.

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Daily Telegraph: Market report: Equities end the week in Rock-solid fashion

By Yvette Essen
Last Updated: 2:48am BST 30/06/2007

Royal Dutch Shell was the subject of a second bullish note in as many days. Credit Suisse repeated its outperform rating on the shares, saying: “ We believe that management still has more options to maximise shareholder value and that the shares look too cheap.”

Raising its earnings-per-share estimates by 2pc in 2008 and 3.5pc in 2009, the broker predicted up to $25bn (£12.5bn) of possible disposals are still to come which, if they are executed well, “could drive the shares closer to fair value, improve operational efficiency and allow staff to be redirected to growth areas”.

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The Times: Need to Know: Energy

June 30, 2007

Up 1.60%

BP A consortium led by the UK oil giant will be investing $5 billion (£2.49 billion) to develop the Skarv and Idun oil and gasfield in the Norwegian Sea. BP holds a 24 per cent stake in the project. Partners include Statoil, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil Corp and Norsk Hydro. Meanwhile, BP unveiled a venture with D1 Oils, with BP to ramp up the planting of Jatropha curcas trees, used to make biodiesel.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/article2008444.ece

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Dominican Today: Dominican Shell scandal: fuel figures were hidden since 2004

SANTO DOMINGO. – Shell’s representatives in the Dominican Petroleum Refinery’s (Refidomsa) governing board have prevented the Government’s attempts to know the figures on fuel purchase costs and marketing since 2004.

The members that represent Shell in the governing board rejected the first attempt to control Refidomsa’s purchase and fuel sales in a meeting in October, 2004. According to the data collected by the newspaper Listin Diario, that first attempt was raised in a session headed by then president Arístides Fernandez Zucco.

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Community Press – Florence,KY,USA: Solving the mystery of the Shell commercial

Television commercials will probably be around for a long time to come, since they help to defray the cost of the programming that we enjoy, and few of us would be willing to pay the subscription fees that would be necessary if advertisers didn’t pick up the tab.

Some commercials are inane (business owners and CEO’s starring in their own commercials), some are annoying (“Head-on”), and some are clever and entertaining (e.g., the Geico “caveman” commercials.) However, most of them are pretty straightforward in terms of their message: “Buy our product because it is better.”

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San Jose Mercury News: Oklahoma couple wins $105.8M Powerball

Powerball Winners

Don and Joyce Harvey smile during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Friday, June… (AP Photo )

By RON JENKINS Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 06/29/2007 08:48:20 PM PDT

OKLAHOMA CITY—Don Harvey’s long-haul truck had almost 2 million miles on it when its engine died this week. Now, he’s planning to ride the road in style, after winning a $105.8 million Powerball ticket with his wife.

Harvey and his wife, Joyce, said they will pay off bills, help family members and think about buying a new home with their winnings. They chose to receive a $33.3 million lump sum after taxes instead of the full amount paid out over 29 years.

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CNNMoney.com: Royal Dutch Shell plc : Voting Rights and Capital

June 29, 2007: 11:57 AM EST

LONDON, June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — In conformity with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules, we hereby notify the market of the following:

Royal Dutch Shell plc’s capital consists of 3,657,843,000 A shares and 2,759,360,000 B shares, each with voting rights. Royal Dutch Shell plc holds no ordinary shares in Treasury.

The above figures may be used by shareholders as the denominators for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, Royal Dutch Shell plc under the FSA’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules.

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Daily Express (UK): Shell’s ‘hidden’ £60bn sparks bid talk

Market Report by David Shand
29 June 2007

SPECULATION of a big takeover in the oil sector was fuelled yesterday by a leading broker suggesting industry giant Shell was undervalued by £60 billion.

Morgan Stanley claimed the “valuable businesses” of the oil super majors had been obscured by their conglomerate tag. It added: “Waiting for the catalyst in the oil sector is a pretty sure way of missing the party. No one forecast that BP was going to take over Amoco. Most scoffed at the idea of a merger between BP and Shell last year, but it has now become broadly accepted that the two companies talked to each other about the idea.”

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AP Worldstream: Oil boom, shifting global politics give Africa its best chance in decades

EDWARD HARRIS
Published: Jun 29, 2007

Europe’s great powers once scrambled for dominance across vast, underdeveloped African lands rich in raw resources, including the scarlet palm oil used to grease the first cogs of the industrial revolution.

A century later, a new group of nations are competing for a different valuable, viscous material, with Sub-Saharan Africa closing in on the Persian Gulf as the prime overseas supplier of oil to the last remaining superpower.

As China and India increasingly prospect for resources here, terrorism concerns rise and the U.S. military seeks a permanent military presence in Africa, the continent has its greatest international influence in decades. Whether Africa can use its newfound might to end its longtime blight is a separate issue.

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Daily Telegraph: Royal Dutch Shell enjoys City upgrades

By Yvette Essen, Stock Markets Reporter
Last Updated: 12:11pm BST 29/06/2007

Royal Dutch Shell was the subject of a second bullish note in as many days, causing the shares to become one of the biggest blue-chip risers in a unsettled market.

Credit Suisse repeated its outperform rating on the shares, saying: “Although much of the earnings gap between consensus and our own forecasts has now closed, we believe management still has more options to maximise shareholder value and that the shares look too cheap.”

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fxstreet.com: The Energy Report (NO): The Axis is spinning

Fri, Jun 29 2007, 14:26 GMT
by Phil Flynn

Alaron

What is the biggest threat to the world energy markets and the future security of all oil consuming nations? It is of course the “Axis of Oil”. And it seems as the weeks go on the “Axis of Oil” is spinning its errors faster and faster and seems to be getting to the point where they are out of control.

Who or what is the “Axis of Oil”. Well as I have mentioned before they are the countries of Venezuela, Russia and Iran. Countries that are increasingly becoming intoxicated with the power of oil. The power comes from  controlling all that oil and natural gas in a world that is becoming increasingly more and more dependent upon what they have or seek to steal.

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OilOnline: DONG Energy transports Shell natural gas

Friday, June 29, 2007

DONG Energy and Shell have signed a one-year agreement for the transportation of natural gas by Shell from the Danish Tyra field to the Danish market via DONG Energy’s North Sea offshore pipelines.

Shell will begin to transport natural gas through DONG Energy’s offshore pipelines from 1 July 2007. By virtue of the agreement Shell will have the capacity to transport volumes of natural gas equivalent to 10 per cent of the Danish market.

As part of the liberalisation of the gas market, third parties have had access to DONG Energy’s offshore pipelines since 2000. However, this is the first time an agreement has been entered into for such access. To date, DONG Energy’s offshore pipelines have only been used to transport the gas that DONG Energy purchases from Danish North Sea gas producers, including Shell.

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New Europe: UK not to ignore human rights and democracy over energy

KAZAKHSTAN
Interview with: Paul Brummell
29 June 2007 – Issue : 736
 
UK ambassador to Kazakhstan Paul Brummell talks to New Europe *

Today, the United Kingdom is the third largest investor into Kazakh economy. The British companies are mainly active in the oil and gas sector, where the United Kingdom has been traditionally strong. However, the current economic policy of Kazakhstan is oriented rather at diversification than at attracting investments. UK ambassador to Kazakhstan Paul Brummell talked to New Europe correspondent in Astana Kulpash Konyrova on the development of the relations between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.

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SHELL COMPLETES WELL AT ONYX SOUTHWEST GAS DISCOVERY IN NORWAY

(The following is a reformatted version of a statement issued by Norway’s Petroleum Directorate, obtained at http://www.npd.no. The statement was not confirmed with the sender.)

Delimitation of gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea
Press Release 24/2007

June 29 — A/S Norske Shell, operator of production licence 255, has concluded drilling of appraisal well 6406/9-2 on the 6406/9-1 discovery (?Onyx Sørvest?).

The 6406/9-1 discovery was proven in 2005 and is located approx. 40 km north-west of the Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea. The discovery contains gas in Middle to Lower Jurassic rocks. In a press release issued in January 2006, the NPD indicated a range of uncertainty of 10-50 billion Sm3 recoverable gas for the discovery.

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Reuters: BP files $5 billion Norwegian Sea oil and gas plan

Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:07 AM BST

OSLO, June 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile , Research) delivered to Norwegian authorities on Friday a $5 billion plan for development and operation of the Skarv and Idun oil and gas fields in the Norwegian Sea, the company and officials said.

The production start-up is planned for the third quarter of 2011, BP’s Norwegian subsidiary, BP Norge, said in a statement.

The total recoverable resources are estimated at 106 million barrels of oil and condensate and 48.3 billion standard cubic metres of rich gas, BP said.

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Dow Jones Newswires: BP Files $5 Billion Norwegian Skarv Oil And Gas Project Plan With Government

June 29, 2007: 06:55 AM EST

STOCKHOLM -(Dow Jones)- The Norwegian ministry of petroleum and energy Friday said a consortium of oil companies led by BP PLC (BP) has submitted a plan to develop the Skarv and Idun field in the Norwegian Sea.

In a separate statement, BP said the estimated cost of the project was be NOK30 billion ($5.08 billion).

Statoil ASA (STO), Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) and ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) are the other licensees in the consortium.

According to a ministry press release, the field has the potential to produce 16.8 million cubic meters of oil and 48.3 million cubic meters of gas. Production is estimated to start in 2011.

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Bloomberg: Shell Says Chemical Makers Encounter `Fierce’ China Competition

By Trisha Huang

June 29 (Bloomberg) — Competition among petrochemical makers is “fierce” in China where foreign companies investing in the country have to battle dominant domestic suppliers, said Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company.

“China’s domestic companies remain dominant producers and sellers in key markets,” Yu Dai, Shell International Eastern Petroleum Pte’s general manager of base chemicals in Asia and the Middle East, said at a conference in Singapore today.
 
A $4.3 billion petrochemical complex in southern China jointly owned by Shell and China National Offshore Oil Corp. was billed as the largest Chinese joint venture with a foreign company when the investment decision was made in November 2002. The chemical complex at Nanhai in Guangdong is expected to generate $1.7 billion a year in sales of chemicals, Shell said on its Web site.

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Reuters: Statoil, Shell shelve Draugen field CO2 injection

Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:07AM EDT

(Reuters) – Energy groups Statoil and Shell have dropped plans to bury carbon dioxide (CO2) in the seabed beneath Shell’s Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea to enhance oil recovery because it is uneconomical, the companies said on Friday.

The companies reached that conclusion in a joint feasibility study that they had begun in March 2006 and which has cost them around 400 million Norwegian crowns ($67.72 million).

The preliminary plans had envisaged capturing CO2 from a big gas-fired power plant to be built at Statoil’s Tjeldbergodden methanol complex, piping it offshore to the Draugen field and injecting it into the reservoir to boost oil recovery.

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AFX News Limited: Statoil to increase Snorre field oil recovery to 55 pct from 45 pct

06.29.07, 4:55 AM ET
 
OSLO (Thomson Financial) – Statoil ASA said it is to boost the recovery of oil from its Snorre field in the North Sea to 55 pct from 45 pct, or by an extra 66 mln barrels, by investing 1.4 bln nkr in new technology and equipment.

‘Snorre is one of Statoil (nyse: STO – news – people )’s most important oil and gas producing fields and its further development will greatly prolong its production lifetime,’ the firm said.

Under the plans, Statoil said the partners in the field had awarded a contract worth 1.4 bln nkr to Statoil-owned Fabricom for development work at the field.

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AFX News: Statoil, Shell scrap ‘carbon capture’ plans

Published : Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:04
 
OSLO (Thomson Financial) – Norwegian oil group Statoil and Britain’s Shell said they are scrapping plans to use carbon dioxide (CO2) to increase oil production.

An evaluation showed that ‘although the value chain is technically feasible, it is not commercial viable,’ Statoil said in a statement.

The project, announced in March 2006, involved the construction of a gas-fired power plant and a methanol production facility in Tjeldbergodden in central Norway, from which CO2 would be directly injected into the Draugen and Heidrun offshore fields to enhance oil and gas recovery.

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Gulf-Times (Qatar): India fuel prices may be due for increase

EXTRACT: Royal Dutch Shell has a license for 2,000 fuel stations, yet it has set up just 32 fuel stations.

Published: Friday, 29 June, 2007, 01:56 AM Doha Time 
By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI: A rebound in global oil prices to 10-month highs may force India into another small yet unpopular fuel price increase next month, dousing any lingering talk of the full-scale liberalisation that refiners yearn for.

The Congress party-led government, more wary than ever of its fragile voter base, has trimmed gasoline and diesel prices twice in the past 12 months, rolling back much of the increase of Rs2-4 in June 2006, when Indian crude was around $67 a barrel.

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China Knowledge: Shell’s sixth plant to be built in Guangdong

Jun. 29, 2007 (China Knowledge) – Royal Dutch Shell plans to construct its mainland sixth lubricant-blending plant in Zhuhai, Guangdong province in order to tap on the rising demand in South China. 

Shell’s latest addition is set to help capture the fast growing auto market in China, which reported an increase of 21% in passenger car sales in the first five months to 2.57 million units. The main demand of lubricant stems from car use.

The new plant once ready for operations in 2009 will be one of Shell’s three largest lubricant-blending plants worldwide. The plant will first start off with an initial capacity of 200 million liters, which might be doubled later pending market demand, according to sources.

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Financial Post (Canada): PetroCan, partners sink $33.4B into oilsands

Biggest investment yet in sector ends Fort Hills doubts

Claudia Cattaneo And Jon Harding, Financial Post
Published: Friday, June 29, 2007

CALGARY – As oil prices sailed past a nine-month high of US$70 a barrel yesterday, Petro-Canada and its partners pushed forward with Canada’s largest oilsands investment yet: a $33.4-billion oilsands-mining venture they said can generate a reasonable return even if oil dips to US$45.

The move casts aside uncertainty about the future of the once-beleaguered project, known as Fort Hills, and helps restore a measure of faith in the oilsands after months of doubt due to cost escalations.

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Monsters & Critics: Some oil firms leave New Orleans – but others stay

By Bruce Nichols

NEW ORLEANS – The boom in Gulf of Mexico oil exploration since the 1970s made New Orleans a hub of the U.S. energy industry, but the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has led some oil companies to move out, a mini-exodus that could grow.

A recent survey by New Orleans CityBusiness magazine found that 12 of 23 publicly traded companies headquartered in New Orleans had left since Katrina, including four energy-related firms.

Tidewater Inc., the world’s largest operator of oil industry service vessels, recently became the latest to say it is considering moving its headquarters to Houston, the U.S. capital of oil and gas.

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The Herald (Scotland): From isolation to a place on the world stage

CALUM MacDONALD June 29 2007

BRITAIN’S relationship with Libya has changed dramatically in the last four decades. When PanAm flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, the Middle East nation was already regarded as a pariah state.

Colonel Gaddafi’s aggressive Arab nationalism and the expulsion of American oil firms from Libya had set him on a collision course with the US, while his supply of arms to the IRA infuriated the British government. The isolation the US and the UK imposed on Libya capped a steady deterioration in relations during the 1970s. The first arms connection between Irish Republicans and Libya was discovered in 1973 when a ship laden with guns and ammunition was apprehended off the Irish coast.

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Farmers Guardian: Will bio-ethanol from corn be ‘boom and bust’?

Liz Walker visitor from Britain 

29 June, 2007
Viewpoint: By Liz Walker

Here, in western America, petrol prices are going through the roof. 

Every TV station carries pieces where hard-up, hard-working people tell us just how difficult their lives are because gas is now three dollars 50 a gallon.

In Britain we pay nearer eight dollars, but the comparison isn’t really fair. In the USA, distances are huge and no-one has given a thought to the cost of a mere hundred miles in years. Not since they needed a horse, anyway. 

All of a sudden everyone is talking about alternatives. Bikes are being exhumed and car pools started, although no-one is considering the bus.

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kutv.com (Salt Lake City): Oil Shale Exploration Lease Granted On Gov Land

SALT LAKE CITY The federal government issued a lease on Thursday to a partnership that wants to open an abandoned oil shale mine in eastern Utah.

The Interior Department issued the 10-year lease to Alabama-based Oil Shale Exploration Co., for Utah’s only oil-shale experiment on federal land.

Last December, the department leased other 160-acre parcels of federal land in northwest Colorado to three energy companies also trying to coax oil out of hard rock. Parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming contain enough petroleum in theory to meet U.S. energy needs for a century, but it is an expensive process to start.

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Dow Jones Newswires: UPDATE: Putin Spokesman: Kremlin Not Involved In Sakhalin Row

June 28, 2007: 12:13 PM EST

(Updates with more quotes, background.)

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday the Kremlin isn’t involved in a disagreement between the state- controlled natural gas monopoly and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) over a multibillion- dollar, offshore energy venture.

“It will be wrong to say the Kremlin is somehow involved,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s first deputy press attache, told journalists during a phone briefing. “Gazprom is a Russian company. Kremlin is the state. You have to divide Kremlin and Gazprom.”

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The Ottawa Citizen: First stage of Petro-Can oil sands project to hit $14.1B

Company aims to produce 140,000 barrels a day by 2012
Reuters: Published: Friday, June 29, 2007

CALGARY – The first phase of Petro-Canada’s Fort Hills oil sands project in Alberta is expected to cost $14.1 billion, an amount the company hopes to keep in check by staggering the start-up of the project’s various parts, it said yesterday.

Petro-Canada and its Fort Hills partners are wrestling with a tight labour supply in Alberta and surging materials costs as the world’s oil industry rushes to develop the oil sands.

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Bloomberg: Shell Has Flange Gasket Fail at Deer Park Refinery, Texas Says

By Robert Tuttle

June 28 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, had a flange gasket fail at its Deer Park, Texas, refinery yesterday, according to a report on a state- administered regulatory Web site.

The gasket “blew out” while a transfer line was being flushed out, causing alkylate to spill , the report said.

The refinery, located near Houston, can process 340,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Dave McKinney, a Shell spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

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Bloomberg: Chevron’s Tahiti Oil Project Delayed by Faulty Parts (Update5)

By Joe Carroll

June 28 (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. energy company, said its $3.5 billion Tahiti oil project in the Gulf of Mexico will be delayed after shackles that connect the production platform to the seafloor were found to be faulty.

New shackles are being ordered to ensure the platform is safe and reliable, Mickey Driver, a spokesman for San Ramon, California-based Chevron, said today. He said it’s not known how long it will take to finish the project, which had been scheduled to begin pumping oil in mid-2008.

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Business Week: The Problem’s Not Peak Oil, It’s Politics

JULY 9, 2007 
GLOBAL BUSINESS/Commentary

Go-it-alone governments are choking back output to perilous levels

Some “peak oil” cassandras warn that global energy production will soon fall into permanent decline. But a more immediate danger to world oil supplies may be the tempestuous politics of many producing countries. Witness Venezuela’s move to wrest control of key oil projects from global companies on June 26. The move echoes steps taken in other nations that will likely either decrease production or slow its growth in coming years. “The oil is in the ground, but serious doubts are being raised about whether countries have the desire and means to produce it,” says Leo Drollas, deputy director of the Center for Global Energy Studies, a London think tank.

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Business Week: What Price Reputation?

JULY 9, 2007
 
THE CORPORATION

Many savvy companies are starting to realize that a good name can be their most important asset—and actually boost the stock price

A recent print ad by United Technologies Corp. (UTX ) looks deceptively like an assembly diagram for a model helicopter. Study it more closely, however, and you’ll notice that the color schematic of UTC’s Sikorsky S-92 copter is embedded with messages aimed at Wall Street.

Text near the engine trumpets 40% lower maintenance costs than comparable helicopters and a “health and usage system” that ensures the S-92 “always operates at peak performance.” Next to a view of the cockpit, you learn that the thermal imaging system lets rescuers find people they can’t see. Other text notes fuel efficiency that allows “more rescues per gallon” and paint with few compounds that harm the environment. “You don’t have to understand everything we do to profit from it,” crows the tagline. The underlying theme: UTC is a great investment because it is a leader in innovation and eco-friendly technologies that help the bottom line.

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Bloomberg: Statoil, Shell Say CO2 Use at Draugen Isn’t Commercially Viable

By Beate Evensen

June 29 (Bloomberg) — Statoil ASA, Norway’s largest oil producer, said a project with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to use carbon dioxide to increase production from the Draugen field offshore Norway wouldn’t be profitable.

The two companies have studied whether to use carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, from a proposed natural-gas-fired power plant at Tjeldbergodden in central Norway to raise output at offshore fields by injecting the gas into the reservoirs.

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The Wall Steet Journal: Morgan Stanley upgraded Royal Dutch Shell to equal-weight from underweight.

By SARAH TURNER
June 29, 2007

European shares moved broadly higher on Thursday, buoyed by some strong performances in the oil and gas sector, ahead of a key Federal Reserve decision on U.S. interest rates.

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index increased 1.0% at 391.60, as oil and gas companies climbed 1.9% amid crude prices that climbed toward the $70-a-barrel mark.

Shares of oil giants BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total were all trading nearly 2% higher.

Broker comment also lifted the sector as Morgan Stanley upgraded Royal Dutch Shell to equal-weight from underweight.

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The Economist: Venezuela: It’s our oil

Jun 28th 2007 | CARACAS
From The Economist print edition

Exeunt Exxon and Conoco

WHEN Venezuela’s government announced this week that two American oil giants, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhilips, would walk away from their large investment in the Orinoco heavy-oil belt rather than accept tough new contract terms, officials presented it as the recovery of sovereignty over another slice of the country’s all-important oil industry.

Some other Venezuelans saw a government blunder that could accelerate the decline of the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Either way, the impact of the walkout may not be immediate.

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Financial Times: Conservatively we think Shell is worth around $385bn

By Neil Hume and Robert Orr
Published: June 29 2007 03:00 | Last updated: June 29 2007 03

Royal Dutch Shell was the stand-out feature in the oil sector. It shares gained2.6 per cent to £20.60 after Morgan Stanley claimed the company was undervalued by a staggering $120bn (£60bn).

Upgrading it to an “equal weight” recommendation and setting a £23 target price, the broker said a detailed sum-of-the-parts valuation exercise had uncovered a significant valuation gap.

“Conservatively we think Shell is worth around $385bn, which is 45 per cent higher than the current enterprise value of the company,” said the broker.

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Financial Times: Shell expected to embark on revamp of its South Bank complex

Headline: Three skyscrapers planned for site next to Waterloo station

By Jim Pickard,Property Correspondent
Published: June 29 2007 03:00 | Last updated: June 29 2007 03:00

Plans for a £1bn scheme featuring three skyscrapers will today be unveiled for a site next to Waterloo station currently occupied by a 1960s eyesore.

Elizabeth House, just to the edge of Waterloo, is a multi-let 1960s office block that vies with the likes of Centerpoint as London’s least charming modern building.

It was built to house government workers by architect John Poulson, whowas later jailed for corruption relating to the building of council housing in the north of England.

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